Actress Marlee Matlin hit back at Donald Trump on Twitter Friday after it came to light that the Republican presidential nominee reportedly called her “retarded” in a behind-the-scenes moment during his reality TV game show, Celebrity Apprentice.
Matlin, who is deaf, wrote, “Recent media reports have circulated that Donald Trump allegedly referred to me as ‘retarded.’ The term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in U.S. history has upset me deeply.”
She continued, “I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable.”
“So what’s my response?” she concluded. “It’s not about insults or taking each other down. As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard…and vote.”
According to multiple sources, Trump repeatedly conflated Matlin’s deafness with mental disability during the filming of Celebrity Apprentice. Individuals familiar with the content of the Apprentice tapes say that the things Trump said on the set of his reality TV game show make the disgusting, disrespectful statements from last week’s 2005 Access Hollywood tape look benign.
Matlin won an Oscar for her role in the film Children of a Lesser God in 1987, the first deaf actor to ever win an Oscar.